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OWNERSHIP

Registration of a vessel upon the Cook Islands Ships Registry is governed by the Ship Registration Act 2007; The Act requires that a vessel be owned by or on a demise charter to a “qualified person.”

There are four ways in which an owner can become a Qualified Person

1. Cook Islands Ship Owners Association

The Cook Islands Ship Owners Association (CISOA) was established in 2015 to create a fast and efficient way for ship owners to fulfil ownership requirements.  Members of the Cook Islands Ship Owners Association (CISOA) are eligible to have their vessel registered in the Cook Islands without having to register a company. The definition of person includes companies and trusts as well as individuals or partnerships of individuals. In this way foreign corporation can become a member of CISOA without having to register that corporation in the Cook Islands.

2. Cook Islands Yacht Squadron

The Cook Islands Yacht Squadron (CIYS) was established in 2006 to create a fast and efficient way for yacht owners to fulfil ownership requirements.  Members of the Cook Islands Yacht Squadron (CIYS) are eligible to have their yacht registered in the Cook Islands without having to register a company. The definition of person includes companies and trusts as well as individuals or partnerships of individuals. In this way foreign corporation can become a member of CIYS without having to register that corporation in the Cook Islands.

3. International Company Incorporation

The Cook Islands International Companies Act 1981-82 governs the formation and activities of international companies. The structure of the International Companies Act allows companies to be formed and operated with both flexibility and administrative ease. An International Company must be incorporated through a licensed trustee company, which will handle the registration process and administrative duties.

4.Foreign Company Registration

Foreign Companies are incorporated outside of Cook Islands and are registered as foreign companies under the International Companies Act. Registered foreign companies may establish a branch with a place of business in the Cook Islands. A Cook Islands Trust company will handle the registration process and administrative duties for those wishing to register a Cook Islands Foreign Company.